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(News items relating to the Wellsville, Addison & Galeton Railroad
from the railfan magazine "The Shortline.")



Issue

May, 1973 - ICC Order (Finance Docket 25726) gives authority to abandon line from Wellsville, N.Y., to Galeton, Pa., 36.9 miles, effective 35 days from service date of April 25, 1973.

March-April 1974 - WAG has placed an embargo on all traffic destined for all points on the line. This is due to unrepaired damage from last year's serious flooding.

May-June 1974 - (May 1) The latest on the WAG is this: The trackage from Wellsville to Genesee, Pa., is torn up because state taxes in New York must be paid on an abandon railroad if the rail is still in place. The trackage from Genesee to Galeton is still in, but is not used and is awaiting the scrappers to tear up the line. The Coudersport & Port Allegheny, a subsidiary of the WAG, is torn up
from Coudersport to Gold, Pa. ?here are about 3 to 5 miles of C&PA trackage still in place, but the wreckers are slowly working toward Newfield Junction, Pa. The line from Galeton to Elkland is still going, despite the fact that the tannery at Elkland is closed.

Sept. - Oct., 1974 - (Galeton, Aug. 21) - The WAG now has two separate runs during the week. They run from Galeton to Ansonia, where they interchange with the Penn Central. the other run is from Galeton to Elkland. The only tannery left on the line is the Tioga Oak Sole Leather Tannery at Westfield. It is on the Elkland run.  The WAG does not connect with the PC at Elkland anymore. When the Northeast had the floods two years ago, the PC trackage into Elkland was damaged and the PC did not rebuild it. The WAG was shut down only five weeks to repair flood damage two years ago and has not been shut down since. They run every other day to Elkland or Ansonia or as traffic dictates. Most of their traffic is carrying feed and fertilizer to farm stores down the line, and of course they have the tannery at Westfield. The WAG is still taking up track on the Wellsville branch. During the third week of July, 1974, they had track up below Gold, Pa.
The C&PA engine was at Galeton and running. it is still lettered for the C&PA #D-2. It is being used for the trip-track gang. Both Southern New York 50-ton GE's were in the car shops but are not being used. They have an ex-Western Pacific F-7A in the car shop being used for parts. WAG's 132-ton GE center cab #1700 is still running and is in the enginehouse there.
WAG F-7A #2300 was in the enginehouse the third week of July awaiting new tires as the flanges had worn too thin. WAG starts work at 8 a.m.

May-June 1976 - The WAG has applied to abandon its entire line. (Galeton to Elkland and the Ansonia branch, 40 miles). Operations have been conducted at a loss for many years and the famous fleet of 40 wooden ex-B&M boxcars was the only factor that kept the overall operation profitable. Several years ago the Interstate Commerce commission revised their per diem rates and the per diem earnings dropped from a high of $2.79 on some cars to 68 cents and less. As a
result the entire fleet has been sold for scrap. Now the railroad can no longer stand on its own.With a number of washouts on the Elkland branch early this
spring, and no money available to repair the track or roadbed, the WAG has applied for abandonment. Virtually all of the customers are in the effected area - Westfield-Knoxville-Elkland. Federal and state money had been applied for, but these applications were turned down. Service from Galeton to Ansonia is still being operated one or two days a week. A sad ending to a railroad with a great history.

Nov.--Dec. 1976 - (Oct. 7) - WAG was operating on an irregular schedule of one day per week. No word on abandonment request. Road operates between Galeton and Ansonia, 13 miles, where it interchanges with Conrail. All cars are taken to Galeton, where loads are transferred to trucks. Only one F-7 remains on the property, #2200, ex- Southern Pacific #6443 (General Motors Electro-Motive Division #18278, built March 1953).) The line between Gaines Junction and
Westfield is out of service due to numerous track washouts. Reports of seeing freight cars along this section are true, as some were left stranded on the line after the washouts.

May-June 1977 - The WAG generally, but not always, runs on Thursday with F-7 #2200. Abandonment protests could be filed until June 30, and with the time it takes for an ICC hearing, it could be assumed that the road would operate until September. They have six or seven off-line cars stranded up on the Elkland branch, and they are still paying per diem on them, according to the crew. They may repair
enough of the line to reach Westfield and get those they can reach up to there. Beyond that point, there is a bridge problem that may be too expensive to fix.

July-August 1978 (Galeton, Aug. 21). For the first time in 10 days, the WAG ran a train this date. F-7a #2200 did the honors, pulling one load and the caboose to Ansonia, returning with one load and two empties. Still held in the shops are WAG #2300 (serviceable); WAG #1700 (GE 132-ton center cab serviceable but not used since 1975), and both Southern New York GE centercabs #5 and #300 (both reportedly serviceable when delivered to the WAG, but not run since 1971.
The big surprise of the day was that after #2200's return, the batteries were pulled for use in #1700. On Saturday, July 22, WAG #1700 was test run for some prospective buyers (from a new short line supposedly near Salamanca, N.Y.). The #1700 looked and ran pretty good.
This is the current situation on the WAG. A petition for abandonment has been filed, but so far nothing has been heard. The road is down to two customers, both in the immediate area of Galeton, a lumber dealer, and a pulpwood plant. Train service is now once a month instead of once a week. The general manager stated they usually operate around the 20th of the month.
In the building built as a car shop, there are three locomotives, the #2200 along with the two ex-Southern New York early-day GE units, #5 and #300. Nothing as yet as to how they are to be disposed of. Out in the yard is steel caboose #103, ex-Erie RR. Across from the old shop were the two snow plows, #3708 and #3710,
both ex-B&O, nee BR&P. Two of the wooden cabooses still around. The crane which came from the Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern, along with its flat car, is still sitting in the yard. An estimated 10 flat cars still sitting in the yard along with the yellow tank car obtained many years ago from Sinclair as a fuel oil car - still intact.
No foreign interchange cars were in the yard, and all the old wooden box cars have now been scrapped except two old ex-B&O box cars lying in the weeds. The ex-Western Pacific "B" unit shell is still in the yard, but is more or less on its side.
They expected to operate a train on Aug. 22, as the lumber company was expecting some cars in to load lumber. Following the line to Gaines and over to Westfield, several bridges are out between Gaines and Sabinsville. In Westfield there are still two foreign road box cars - a Rock Island car sits across from the WAG depot. Incidentally the old train order board is still up on the depot, and sitting in front of the depot are two old baggage carts. The other car seen was an E-L, across from the old NYC station which is still standing though boarded up. At Ansonia, two cars were sitting on the interchange track with two more to come the next day.The station in Elkland is still standing. The Knoxville station on the WAG is almost ready to fall over. The former NYC station at Knoxville, acquired by the WAG after the NYC gave up service in the Cowanesque Valley, is still in existence. The former NYC station also owned by the WAG is all boarded up. The station building at Gaines is knocked down and lying in a heap of rubble.
At the site of the former Newfield Jct. station nothing is there anymore. However, on Route 49 just above Gold, Pa., are two crossing bucks, and the former Wellsville station, a brick building, is still standing. It may be turned into some kind of a historic museum. The former station building at Genesee, Pa., has been leveled to the ground. - Bill Reddy.

Assembled and submitted by Richard Palmer

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